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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 28, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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debate state's rights. "washington journal" is next. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in the headlines today, saturday, april 28, slow growth stired fears. and the u.s. shifts its stance on nuclear iran. and we begin this segment of the "washington journal" talking about paying for college and the impact it has on how many years you went to school, if at all. and if you're getting ready to go to college, will the price tag you pay determine how long you're willing to stay in school. here are the numbers. if you have a two-year degree or if you're working on a
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two-year degree, your number is 202-737-0001, if a four-year degree, 202-737-0002 or if you have no degree, 202-628-0205. you can also send us an email at journal@c-span.org. we want to talk about the impact of the cost of going to college and the impact of the cost on your education. this little article in "the new york post" sort of scums up what's happening on critical and here in washington
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regarding the assistance of helping to pay for a college education. student loan brawl, the house narrowly passed a bill yesterday that would stop the interest rates on federal loans from doubling this summer. but it would face a white house veto threat if passed. republicans and democrats both want to stop stafford loans from jumps from 3.4% to 6.8% in july. they just can't agree on how to pay the $5.9% cost. the g.o.p. would take democrat funds and the democrats would subsidize it with higher taxes on the rich. so we will continue our discussion regarding the impact of the cost on education on how
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long you went to school if at all or if you're planning on going to school or go straight into the workforce. if he lease has no degree. talk to us. caller: actually, i won't be getting a degree because i'm over the age of 40. but i went to college 20 years ago and it was not nearly as expensive as it is today. i don't understand how young kids today are going to be able to get an education. there's no way they can. i was lucky enough to be able to get a decent job so i can take care of myself and pay off the student loans i had about 20 years ago. so it was a little easier or how the republicans are getting any time to say they want to counter the stafford loan the height of the rate by taking other things out of our budget. the democrats have to step up and stand up for middle class
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and poor class kids who are trying to get an education and can't. there's no way you will be able to pay a $100,000 student loan after you get out of college. host: if he lease, are you still with me? caller: yes. host: how long did you go to school? caller: i went for four years. host: so you do have a degree? caller: no. i had to drop out due to financial -- my mother passed away. so i wasn't even able to go to college even then. host: how short are you from getting this four-year degree and is the job you have really a financial hardship or do you feel like you're just too old to go back to school? caller: it's not a financial hardship but i probably wouldn't be able right now even with my job, i would not be able to afford to go to college
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and finish my degree. i would probably be a year away from getting my degree. so i would be able to do that. but no. i wouldn't be able to do it right now with the way it costs. i have a program at work that would be able to kick in some money for me to be able to go to college. but i have to work six days. so it's not that easy to just say i would like to go to college if you're middle class our the working poor as we like to call them these days, it's not that easy to go ahead and get an education. there's so many factors that go along with it and our government needs to stop kicking in oil and gas subsidies. they need to kick in educational subsidies. if they don't, we will never become better than what we are right now. host: sandra is on the line from silver springs, texas. she has no degree.
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go ahead. caller: i'm curious. you know you have all these coaches. i know football is important to college, but have you ever looked at what they pay these coachs? they pay for their homes. they pay for everything. why is that so important? these boys, these coaches are teaching what 24, 50 kids a year? and you've got all these teachers teaching all these others that are dedicating their lives to teaching these kids what we need to know, and they are paying these tremendous salaries to these coaches. host: sandra, let's get back to you and the topic of our discussion this morning regarding the degree. did you why did you not get your degree? caller: no. i was just getting married and
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having babies. back then it wasn't that big of a deal. host: would you be interested in going back to school if you could afford it? caller: not at 67 [laughter] host: bob has a four-year degree. go ahead. caller: the comment i have. i'm 76 years old. and i graduated from college in 1957. and i worked my own way through college, and i didn't have any loans back then. over the years they have always increased the amount of benefits. they tell the students and parents, too, that they are voting for new benefits for them, and what happens is the college charges tuition, if they give $1,000 in benefits, the college charges $1,500 more in tuition. the students never come out ahead and owe all kinds of money out and this whole idea
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that the government says they are helping people is a scam. the colleges themselves are the ones that benefit when they vote for new aid. not the students or their families. host: bob, do you have kids? caller: seven children and five grandchildren. host: did you help put any kids through college? and tell us about the impact. caller: having seven kids, i was able to help them to some extent. we chipped in money each year, and they had to get loans for the balance, and they got some assistance from pell grants and things like that. it was a combination of things that had to be done get them through. but any of them that wanted to go to college, we did do that and they did do that. host: let's move on to lakewood, washington. haley, no degree? caller: no.
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i don't have a degree and i'm a veteran. so i have an interesting perspective on both sides, because i became disabled in the military and that's actually what kept me from going to college. it was either go to college, and i couldn't afford it, or join the navy so i could afford college but when i got out of the military, i decided it was time to go but when i started going to college in 2001, i was coming to find that my teachers weren't that educated. and i was learning more from getting a library book and finding a tutor or mentor. so the high cost of education to me was really a downfall in having my g.i. bill, because even with my g.i. bill, i still couldn't afford to go to college. i couldn't afford the tutors i would need, because i have dislexya. so there are things that need
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to be taken into consideration like that. i see you're asking a question. go ahead. host: i want to get your response to the executive order the president put out yesterday establishing principles of excellence in institutions serving veterans and spouses and by the authority vested in me by the constitution and the laws of the united states of america and in order to ensure that federal military and veterans education benefits programs are providing service members, veterans spouses and other family members with information, support and protection they deserve, it is hereby ordered as followed, the original g.i. bill approved weeks after d-day helped americans and transformed but we owe the same to this generation as was afforded the previous one. what did you think about the executive order the president put out yesterday?
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>> i'm glad that you mentioned that. because today i was going to lead the executive order. i saw him signing it in the late-night post of c-span. i missed the actual signing. but in my opinion, i got out in 1990. so -- in 199. so i'm a pre-9/11 veteran baupost world war ii. so i fall in the middle grounched. -- world war ii, so i fall in the middle ground. i was single with no dependant in a class of my own. a single female with no dependants has to eventually pay way more for their education because we have to pay for our health care and special interest things like most women get grants for baby sitters and stuff. i can't get a grant for my
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dislexya and i don't get any funding back because i don't have kids. i had to pay every single penny of my g.i. money back. so these people getting sclips for sports, i think they should have to pay it back as well so pell grants can take it on. thank you for taking my call this morning. host: halle in lakewood washington, we want to show you what the president did yesterday regarding the executive order signed at fort stuart, georgia intended to help u.s. military personnel and victims keep safe from education fraud. >> we're going to prevent colleges that want to enroll our veterans or members of their families to provide clear qualifications and financial aid a simple fact sheet called "know before you owe."
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and it will lay out all the information that you need to make your own choices about how best to pay for college. second, we're going to require those schools to step up their support for our students. they need to provide a lot more counseling. if you've got to move because of a deployment, they have got to help you come up with a plan that you can still get your degree. host: we're talking about the impact of cost on your education. in delaware, alean has or is working on a four-year degree. caller: i have a four-year degree, and i am finishing my masters in may and will start my doctorate in the fall. host: so talk to us about the impact of the cost of your education. where'd you get all the money to pay for these degrees? caller: i basically have student loans and have been an
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employment counselor for about 13 years. and i felt it was necessary and just looking at the economy, looking at where the workforce is right now that it's essential to have education now. even just, like a two-year degree. now two-year degrees are kind of equivalent to having a hockey diploma. so -- a high school diploma. so in order for you to move up, it's worth the cost. host: how much have you put into this? how much did it tost you to get these three degrees? caller: so far probably around $60,000. host: and you say you are a job counselor?
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caller: yes. host: i want to get your response about this graph we have here from the census financial aid.org stand policy the institute which those average public and private student loan debt at college graduation is up 24% over the last 10 years while the average earnings for workers 25-34 with only a bachelor's degree is down 15% over that same 10-year span. your thoughts? caller: my thoughts on that, i haven't seen the graph, so i'm only going by what you're saying now. but mige my thoughts on that -- i think it also has to do with the saturation of the market. we have a lot of people who are unemployed. i think eventually that's going to turn around. i think wages are going to start getting higher. as the economy starts to turn
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around and evolve, i think that the wages are going to start getting higher, and i think degrees are going to matter. i think what's happened now or over these past few years is we have had so many people unemployed. we've had the -- the unemployment rate has been at its highest for a long time. and at the same time we also are pushing more and more students into the workforce out of college, so the labor market is saturated with unemployed people, but as employers are starting to hire and businesses are starting to grow, i think that number is about to eventually change. as we look at the labor market situation, i tell them at this point to not really take the unemployment area for the projections not really to focus on that too much when it talks
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about going into certain careers or moving into certain locations and working in certain careers. i just tell them that right now, because the market is changing so fast, to -- we look at other factors other than just look at the unemployment rates. host: we're going to leave it there and move on to andre in kansas city, missouri. he has a two-year degree. caller: i'm from kansas city. off unique perspective in that i'm in the army reserves and got notified two weeks ago if i'm eligible to retire that i may be put out by december. i have a two-year degree. i have $138,000 for a four-year degree and this whole thing affects me very seriously in the fact that my student loans at the time i got them were at 3.5% interest. i looked at the scale you guys
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just showed, and a lot of reason that's up is because a lot of people with loans like mine were increased the interest rate went up from 3.5% to 3.25% which made my loans go up to now well over $40,000 in pure interest. on top of that, i'm having a hard time trying to get a college to evaluate my credits where i can go ahead and get my four-year degree converted to me, and i've used up most of my g.i. bill and qualified again for the 9/11 g.i. bill but getting a college to recognize my credits because the business world right now for a longtime employee like me, i would need my masters degree to be competitive with 20 years of service.
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host: andre in kansas city, missouri. we've got a tweet from bill beatty who says in the 1970 the g.i. bill imposed a financial hardship on me. i had to borrow $10,000 to continue college, all paid back in 10 years. haber montana. have a four-year degree or working on a four-year degree? caller: i have a four-year degree and went on to a masters and doctoral. host: so talk to us on the impact of the cost. how much did you have to pay? caller: my four-year degree i paid for by working as i went along and got that degree without student loan, but to go on to graduate school, i had to take student loans that amounted up finally to $56,000 to get my masters degree and my doctorate, and i wound up paying those.
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i just retired for heaven's sakes after 41 years teaching university level and i paid off the student loans in my 40th year. host: took you 40 years? caller: i didn't take the degrees all at once. i we haven't back to school to get my doctorate, see, and i had to borrow to get that degree, and that was late in my career, so i was still paying student loans when i retired. host: how much as an educator on a college campus, how much of a concern do you see among stupets in how they will be able repay student loans. >> my son just graduated with a bachelor's degree and couldn't get a job. he o's $27,000 flat out now and
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can't make the payments on it. host: this headline from the "washington post":student loan measure creates another election year issue. john boehner before the vote was arguing the bill is a short-term solution while both sides work out a long-term solution. this is what the speaker ha had to say. >> so we got democrats and republicans for months who have been talking about trying to fix this problem. and while we don't yet have the solution to the long-term solution to this problem, chairman's continuing to work on it, we believe that we shouldn't put students at risk and we ought to make sure their interest rates shouldn't go up so we developed a short-term policy while the committee has time to look at a long-term solution to this problem. but why do people insist that
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we have to have a political fight on something where there is no fight? there is absolutely no fight. people want to politicize this because it's an election year, but my god, do we have to fight about everything? host: we're talking about the impact of cost on your education. here's an email from jamie in st. louis who says i went to a very private college and worked part of my way through. my college was sensible and humane enough to give me 1/5 of my loan for every year i went into teaching and i've been teaching since 1967. our next call from baltimore, maryland. emma, working on or already have a four-year degree? caller: morning, i have a four-year degree and bachelor's degree of science. host: talk to us about the impact of getting those
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degrees. caller: well, my student loan is ridiculous. i'll be paying it for 75 years, it feels like. it has impacted my ability to do certain things in life, because you have this debt that's like a mortgage, and it's just there. however, it was my irresponsibility for taking out such loans. because when you're in school, you -- they give you the information about the cost and you can take loans if you don't. and most times you get a refund and you can send it back or keep it. and my problem is i would keep the excess money to assist me in my education, and i didn't necessarily need to do that. because i was working as well. so it was my irresponsibility in the way that i managed my loans that created the debt that i have. and i don't blame that on my
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government or anyone. however, i have two children, my son just graduated with his bachelor's degree and returns in the fall for a master's program and my second child, she is in her second year of undergrad. and i am responsible, because we do not meet the threshold to get assistance so i'm responsible for their student loans. and i have had to take out parent-plus loans to help them with their education, but they are still having to take out loans as well. my son went to a private school and the tuition was $30,000. it was absolutely ridiculous. my daughter goes to a state school, so it's not as bad. so it is really, the cost right now is not their fault. host: emma, we're going to leave it there. thanks for the call. we're talking about the impact of cost from your education more from the article in this
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morning's "washington post." creating another election-year issue. the house approved a backed plan to keep student subsidized loan rates low by paying it from a preventive care fund established by president obama's overhaul law. roughly 7 million could see student loan rates jump the democrats agree loan rates should be extended for another year but disagree over how to pay for the extension setting off another election-year fight over otherwise another non-controversial issue as they go home for a weeklong recess. regarding the floor fight, nancy pelosi on friday criticized republicans for the way their legislation addresses the issue.
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>> the president took the issue to the american people. he made the issue too hot to handle. so the republicans this week are doing an aboutface for what they did last week, which was to vote overwhelmingly for their budget which is able to keep the rates on the stafford student loans to double. an aboutface. they say ok we won't allow it to double, but we're going to take the money from women's health. host: talking about the impact of the cost of going to college and how that affects your education, next up is new port, maine. victoria has or is working on a two-year degree. caller: i have a master's degree and i actually work as an executive. but i have to tell you that i
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went through school the hard way. i worked and went to a junior college and got some basic education. then i went into the navy reserves, and then i used my g.i. bill to get through my two-year or end degree at halver, montana. then i worked and saved money. and i got i myself through a baccalaureate program in hayes, kansas, and i worked, and i did have to get one $5,000 loan to get through that. but what i noticed when i -- especially when i was in hayes, kansas, which would have been about 1990 -- or maybe 191995,
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something like that, 1994. the children or kids that were going to school were living as though they already had degrees and were out working. they were not really interested in working part-time jobs. they wanted to live very well. they wanted to eat fast food and go places and do things and go skiing on the weekends etc. and still go to school. and i started to recognize this is going to be a problem. the other thing i recognized is as you sign up for every semester, they would have people standing there willing to give these kids master cards and visas. just here. take it and spend. and they took advantage of it, because they were kids and they wanted to have fun. i went on and got my bachelor's degree and once i did, i got into a job position where i actually asked my employer to
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help me pay for my master's degree. host: that's victoria in new port, maine. she talked ancht kids going out and skiing. earlier this week in the "wall street journal" they talked about school slowdown threatening the u.s. and showed a picture of alan who decided not to go to college so he could go skiing and earns money landscaping in the summer. also said about 30% of american results have four-year college degrees and there is little evidence that this is a natural ceiling. 30 years ago the u.s. led the world in percentage of 25-34-year-olds with equivalent of at least a two-year degree. only canada and israel were close. as of 2009 the u.s. lagged behind 14 other developed countries according to the o.e.c.d.
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president barack obama has vowed to change that and said by 2020 america will once again have the highest pore proportion of college graduates in the world and required all student graduate from hockey or stay in school until age 18 as 21 states do already and pushed successfully for greases in federal student aid. back to the phones. quincy, massachusetts, tom has no degree. tom, talk to us about the impact of cost on the fact that you have no degree. caller: nop effect from the cost. i will say that i have taken some college courses. i'm mostly self-educated. i've read everything i can get my hands on in the english language, and i am very unimpressed and disappointed by many people i speak with who have college degrees. they don't seem to be able to
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con crepe lies things. they are not tied to think outside the box. it's the fault of some of the students who are looking forward to spring break. but the point i would like to make is i think there should be a lemon law for the money we do spend and people who get money to go to school should be tested and if they don't meet a certain criteria, then the school does not get fade federal money. host: tom in quincy, massachusetts. we've got another tweet, this one from eddy evans who writes unintended consequence of publicly funded loans will be like this year after year after year. sthruent suffer as a result. next up is wilma in laraine, ohio. wilma is working on a two-year degree. caller: it's our experience with education. me and my husband both came from poverty. and i don't think those
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professors are worth millions of dollars a year. i think they should cut their pay, and i feel we could be educated for a lot less money, and these students are winers. my husband came from poverty. he put himself through high school, college, paid all of it himself. and the government, taxpayers don't owe these little darlings anything. let memory work and put themselves through school like we did. host: wilma in laraine, ohio. the off lead in this morning's "washington post," the consumers boost spending but low savings raise worries. this is by peter who writes the economy grew by 2.2% in the first three months of the year and the commerce department reported friday largely thanks to consumer spending. unfortunately, what people earn isn't keeping up with their rising bills and their new figures reflect the financial
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pressures facing new households, more over growth of this nature may be unsustainable, because eventually consumers will run out of money. san antonio, texas. alicia has no degree. you're on the "washington journal." go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. host: is cost the reason why you don't have a degree? caller: no. i will definitely be getting a degree. the cost is, on me a little bit on the expensive side, but you've got to do it. we're in an economy that new don't have a degree, it's going to make it harder for you. my parents both have masters degrees and i already saw as far as the job market. my friends have graduated and got at any bachelor's degree but said it feels like we've still gotten out of high school. but i'm working full-time. i'm going to stack away money and pay for my degree as i go.
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i refuse to take out student loans. i see the horror stories where you get out of school and you have a bachelor's degree and you can't find a job and then have $40,000-$50,000 over your head. i'm going to a community college, pay for it out of pocket and after that continue getting my bachelor's pay money aside. host: alicia, what kind of a job do you have and how much money do you think you're going to have to put away to get through the first two years of college? caller: what i've noticed is colleges are strategic. because at the end of the day they know a lot of people work full-time soots lot harder for you to go to school full-time and work full-time, but they made it to where with the community college, the more classes you take the less expensive it is. so if you take six hours,
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that's like $448 versus if you were to take 12 hours, it's $600-$700. so even though for me, what i'm going to do is work full-time and go to school full-time, because it's just less expensive that way. i refuse to eat my way through it, because at the end of the day i'm spending more money and for people out there it's about taking the hard right and work for what you want and prayerfully by the grace of the lord you get a job that entails a degree because some of my friends that have degrees, the job market isn't open for themso i want to get my degree in business management, because i want my own business at the end of the day if i can't get a job i can still have my own business but at the end of the day that's what people are going to have to do. one more quick thing the caller from delaware i heard her say an associate's degree is
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equivalent to a high school diploma, but it's sad, because a high school diploma is equivalent to a g.e.d. so a bachelor's degree, got to get it and microsoft as well do another 1 1/2 years and get your masters. host: and to shift topics, the bow bama officials are saying they could support allowing iran to maintain a crucial element of its disputed nuclear program if teheran took other major steps to curb its ability to build a nuclear bomb. officials say they might agree to allow iran continue enriching up to 5% purity if its government agrees to unrestricted inspections strict oversight and numerous safe guards and numerous safe guards
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that the united nations has long demanded. back to the phones. waynesboro, pennsylvania. john, no degree, john? caller: yes, sir. how are you? thank you for taking my call. host: john was cost a factor in your not getting a degree? caller: absolutely. i'm a former soldier myself and during my time we had what was called the vietnam era assistance program. what that essentially boiled down to was crap. it was garbage. for every one dollar that we put in the system the government would throw in two. well, at the end of your hitch you find out you've got about $1,500 in your account and that wouldn't even put you through one year at a community college. host: not even back in 196t -- 1969? >> no. the first hitch i did was 1986. then they came out with the
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montgomery g.i. bill which was garbage, too,. you could donate up to $100 to your own account and then the government would match that somehow. excuse me. but at any rate, there's an entire generation of soldiers, sailors, and marines that are completely lost. we have no education. host: john, let me ask you this. in the era of the 1980's through the early 19990's wasn't there also a program in the military where they would pay your tuition 75% if you went to school while you were on activity duty? >> only if you're a non-combat troop. because if you are a combat troop you're working 12 hours a day every day. there's no time for school. caller: i have six years of college resulting from my
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quitting high school. i'm a wormed world two vet. -- a world war ii vet. i left school my senior year to join the marine corps. a little over four years service there. three years overseas. i came back, and i took advantage of the g.i. bill, which was absolutely fantastic. for every month up to 48 months, you got a month of schooling. that's enough. 48 months is six years of college. i went to minorwood -- norwood university. got a mechanical engineering degree and went on to m.i.t. and was there for two years. host: richard, with all this assistance, when you graduated, did you have much debt? caller: zero debt except for
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$800 that i borrowed to go to m.i.t. they have a terrific loan program at m.i.t. you could pay 2% while you were in college and 5% after. in my case, at that time, they waived the 2% while you were in college. host: sorry. we lost you there, richard. that was richard in salem, new york. in "the new york times" this morning secret service tightens rules to declare off-limit zones for employees traveling abroad. the agency announced on friday it had tightened its rules for staff members traveling in foreign countries. the agency said personnel would not be permitted to have foreigners in their rooms other than hotel staff members and law enforcement counterparts. quote pateization of non-rep tble establishments is prohibited, the memo said in an
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attempt to address workers spending time at strip clubs and brothals and said alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts on the trips and that drinking alcohol less than 10 hours before reporting to duty is prohibited. they have prohibited drinking alcohol less than four hours before reporting to duty. you can read more about that in this morning's "new york times." in dayton, ohio midge has got or is working on a four-year degree. you're on the "washington journal." caller: no. my son has a four-year degree. host: and did you have to help him pay for that four-year degree? caller: i've helped him some. i have a parent loan and my other son has a two-year degree and i got a parent loan for him, too.
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i am the working poor. both of my son has degrees and i have one who has a mechanical engineering degree and psychology degree and speaks four foreign languages and is hanging dry wall in dayton, ohio, paying his student loans off. they both worked the whole time they was in school and lived at home when they was in school. they are not wining students like the woman from student -- from laraine, said. they cannot get a job in the field they went to school for. host: is there a possibility that they will have to leave dayton in order to find a job? caller: there is a possibility they would have to and everything they have built their lives up for and went to school for is all around ohio that they wanted to stay in. i got one that's engaged. i have one that's raising a
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child. and these student loans are just crushing them. they are paying them. they don't complain about paying then. they work every day, but it's just really sad in this day and age that you can go to school, graduate with honors. they scored off of the charts on their s.a.t.'s and bypassed a lot of their prerec we death courses to go into college, and when they went to college, they graduated with honors and still couldn't get a job, because there's so much competition in the field they are in where everybody has lost their jobs in dayton, ohio. host: we want to let your viewers and listeners know about newsmakers this week. our guest, the post master general talks about ways the postal service may restructure its ways including closing thousands of post offices and limiting hours as well as senate and house bills aimed at
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saving the postal service while cutting billions of dollars. we're going to show you a clip where the post master general talks about senate and house bills aimed at cutting post office costs, the senate passed a bill on wednesday and representative darryl icea is leading passing another bill in the house. this is what the post master general had to say. >> this week the senate passed a bipartisan bill. they beat a deadline even negotiated with congressional lawmakers discussing your postponement of closures of postal facilities. so now i'm wondering what happens may 15? >> we're losing $25 million a day. time is of the essence, and that was some of our concern that came out of the senate. we think there's some really good things in there and we appreciate the hard work, but some of the time elements, 6-5
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days when you are losing $25 million a day, time is of the essence. we're looking for action in the house. we're hoipping the house introduces a bill and we have to get through the house and a conference before the final bill is finished for the senate and house to vote on. there's still a lot of things to do. our date of the 15th is not a date that's we're going to make all kinds of changes. it's never been intended to be a shutdown date for anything. >> you said at a recent g.o.p. hearing you like almost everything in it. is it fair to say even with what happened in the senate that you fleafer approach? >> here's what i like, berny. -- bernie. i think they really don't fund prefunding issue.
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so if you take the language from the sflat and were able to get that merged in conference, it resolves the short-term for us but leaves the door open for us to also continue to widdle away at some of those long-term liabilities by negotiating a great health care plan for our employees that will provide better coverage at a lower cost and allows us to address some accounting issues and address medicare. that said on the house side they said you can go six to five days. you eliminate delivery door-to-door and our network runs, post office boxes and we'll continue to deliver packages. some of them may have a little surcharge, but it won't be outrageous and i think that's fitting in exact will where the american public looks for us to go. host: you can look for that full interview on sunday at
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10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. next a discussion with daniel schuman of the sunlight foundation on public accountability on federal spending and fawn johnson from the "national journal" joins us to talk about the data act in congress and tonight is the white house correspondent's dinner. we had a chat with the comedic host of the white house correspondent's dinner jimmy kimmel, and here's a little about what he told us about getting ready for that all-important dinner >> have you ever had an experience where you had the president of the united states listening to your jokes? and how good is he for comedians? >> the president is not great for comedians. because he could probably be a comedian himself if he wanted to. it's more fun when you have a bill clinton or a george bush, people who are more cartoony
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and do more interesting things. the president kind of keeps to himself. somebody throws him a basketball, he makes the shot. you know? he ruins everything! but no. i've never been in a situation where i've done comedy in front of the president. >> do you consider yourself to be a political comedian? >> no. it's part of what i do, but i probably talk about the kardashians, sadly, more than i do politics. >> what's your experience with washington? how long have you been out in the past? what kind of interaction have you had with washington? >> we got out here this morning. i've been here a few times but the fact that you can go to these monuments and sit under the lincoln memorial in the middle of the night, it's really -- it's fantastic. it's something that when i came here, i didn't think. i thought oh, we'll be looking at a statue, and just to see
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some of the memorials and in the house white house. i had never been in the white house before -- probably will never be asked back, but it's really very cool, actually. >> what do you think about all the attention that the wash -- washington press corps gives to this dinner? i guess it makes sense that the press would give a lot of attention to a dinner they host and put on. but it is an unusual thing. you have a very unusual mix of people sitting in the room with the president and all the top people in media, and then you hire some buffoon to come in and entertain. in a way, you feel like you've been commanded by the king to be the court jester or something. >> "washington journal" continues. host: daniel schuman is policy counsel at "the sun" and is here to talk to us about the digital accountability and transparency act of 2012 also
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known as the daytona. -- as the data act. a companion bill has been introduced in the senate that establishes a five-member federal tax policy to collect data on federal spend and publish it online. welcome to "washington journal." guest: thank you for having me here. host: so tell us a little more about what's in the data act and why did the lawmakers feel it was necessary. >> at the heart is a simple idea. follow the federal spending. it makes it possible for members of the congress and the public to find out where all our tax dollars are going. you would think this is a simple and basic idea, but unfortunately in washington nothing is as simple and basic as it seems and is simply not possible right now. host: you would also think with all the elements at our disposal that if you're looking
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for information regarding federal spending that somewhere on the internet you're going to be able to find it. guest: you would hope so but you would be sadly mistaken. there has been some attempt to make it available on line the cobra and obama bill puts some grants and contract information online but according to the analysis available at clear spending.com ever.org we found over $1.3 trillion discrepancies between two different reporting systems for grants. so the information that's available is not particularly reliable and misses literally trillions in other spending. host: give us an idea of what kind of information we would find on a data act? guest: first, you will be able to see grants and contracts and that information will become
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reliable, accurate and timely. but many other types of spending, many other ways the government spends money that are not available at all. there's a lot of internal expenditures, things along those lines that aren't available in the least. as you're looking down. if you're trying to drill down the information not see just who got money but who they in turn gave the money to known as subrecipients. right now it's very difficult to get that information and the data act will ensure you are able to find it to the lowest level in granularity and it's a very powerful idea and the commission will be charged with making sure that information is accurate, reliable and timely. those that don't exist or lead the and honored only in the breech. >> in the release by the senate by the sunlight foundation they released a the data act will
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transform how we are able to monitor government spending online. we have said time and time again that transparency is not a partisan issue and we are proud to say there was broad support across the aisle for the bill. the data act will increase transparency and expand when, where, and how it is available online said aaron miller of the sunlight foundation. if you'd like to get involved in the conversation regarding the data act, call the number on the screen. -- the numbers on the screen. you can also send us messages electronically by email, twitter and the conversation is always going on, on facebook. our first call for daniel schuman comes from atlanta, georgia. erik on our line for democrats.
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you're on the "washington journal." caller: yes. thank you. this new bill y'all are trying to get passed. what i really noticed was with the president, a lot of spending blamed on president obama, it was going to be spent anyway, because it was under bush such as the two wars for instance and medicare part d, and the tax cut, that is tax spending. for president obama, whether he had anything to do with it or not and this is something i looked up recently. i noticed that president bush was in office, just like during the great depression and the depression up under bush, there were more billionaires made in the united states just like during the great depression, there was more millionaires made. would you give me a number on
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those who became billionaires off these military contracts such as black water and these different type things, do y'all have the money actually paid to them? host: narke atlanta, georgia. daniel schuman, go ahead. guest: what you're looking for it sounds like. i can't speak to the number of millionaires and billionaires, you would have to look at the u.s. census bureau. the vast majority of the rest is difficult to obtain. which is why the data act is so important. it would be available online so you and others can drill to the lowest level of detail to find out where all this money is going. host: from columbus, ohio, brett, you're on the "washington journal." caller: one of my questions about the public accountability of federal spending, is that going to include tax breaks and
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over incentives given to companies that are not actually in-line budget items? guest: that's an excellent question. so what you're referring to is more technically known as tax expenditures. they make up between $800 billion and $1 trillion of federal spending or equivalent. within the data act the provision introduced by mike quigly a democrat out of illinoisal conducts those expenditures and it needs to be completed within the next six months to a year that shows how you can track these expenditures, so when you're looking at the budget, you can see the extra $1 trillion or so in tax loopholes and how they
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affect federal revenue. host: lynn calling from brook field, mizuho, lynn? caller: yes. thank you for taking my call. one of the things i would like to say is i saw on c-span the other day where the average staff member in the white house gets $71,000 a year. but my daughter works her rear-end off for eight hours a day, cooking in a rest home for around $12,000 a year. now why is our federal government paying such expensive money to the cooks and the cleaners and all that in the white house? or are they worth more than my daughter? host: daniel schuman go ahead. guest: well, the white house expenses, and i've looked at them a little bit. i've spent more time looking at congressional staff. what they are paying for are
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not so much the cooks and cleaners but the attorneys and c.p.a. ice and other administration officials who have many years of schooling and really have advanced degrees and lots of experience in the type of work they are doing. this does not discount the work your daughter is doing as well, which is very important. but the same time when you look at private sector equivalent lentz, they are earning significantly less for their experience than their private sector equivalent lentz. particularly when you look at the white house and congressional staff, they work longer hours and many, many hours and work in very vol tile circumstances and they do so in circumstances that if they were working in the private sector, they could have much cushier lives and earn a lot more money. one of the big problems "the sun" and others are trying to address is the problem called
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the resolving door where because it's so attractive to work in the private sector, many people will leave their government jobs and lobby the government to control where the money is going. that's something that we want to keep a very close eye on. host: you wrote april 25, earlier this week a new five-member transparency commission will be working on an lieding all the spending and publishing it online. tell me how these five members of the committee will work and will five people be able to get all that done? seems like a lot of work to do. >> the members of the commission will be nominated by
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the prth president and approved with the house and senate and will be able to hire staff to do the heavy lifting work as well. >> what's likely to happen is many will come over with the terrible ack are anymore name of the rat board. the $777 billion worth of money spent to try juice up the economy in the wake of the crises. so these people have a tremendous bit of experience in ferretting out where money is going so they will move to the
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other and be good at figuring out that out. >> i would assume it's the homeland security committee. host: boise idaho on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal" with daniel schuman. go ahead. caller: nice. thank you. i appreciate you guys taking my call. daniel, my question in terms of the initiative that you're trying to get through is will you be able to understand spending retroactively in terms of going back or is this an initiative that will be from the moment that it's passed and then moving forward? because i think having that information will give us some interesting understanding on how spending as evolved over time? guest: that is a great question and a really interesting question. as i understand it, this will be focused on going forward. however, one of the roles of
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the fast commission will be responsible for is taking all this data from agencies and standardizing it. over time each agency has developed their own budget system that operates independently of every other agency and use difficult to track ways of keeping track of the data. but they will create a way of trlting it all into a common language. so even though the commission will be responsible for the data going forward, what it may allow, is it may allow organizations like sunlight foundation to look back over time as well. although we will have to see what happens to see whether that's actually possible or not. so that's a great we question, and i hope so. but it's certainly not what it is envisioned with, in the
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language. host: your comment or question for daniel schuman from the sunlight foundation. caller: daniel, in my zip code area, i was looking yesterday at the recovery.gov to get the low down on the spending in our community. and we received over $7 million that generated two jobs. and grants, there are 32 grants. in my community alone per capita, we have more grant writers that get money, and i'm wondering in your process if you're going to screen the grants the abuse of grant writing in your program. guest: so what we will do is allow you, members of congress and members of the executive branch to be able to screen the grants. it's great that you went to the
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recovery.gov website and were able to track down the money to this detail. unfortunately, that's not the case with the federal government but as far as how much money to be given, that's not really a decision for those of us at the sunlight foundation or the commission to make. it's a decision for appropriaters and the legislaters and the executive branch and people like you who keep an eye on things and so if you see fraud or waste, them powers you to call your member of congress and say this isn't right. you should do this differently. that's why we want the data act to pass, because it puts you in the driver's seat to make this happen. host: stella sent this tweet, how about the commission being run by a private company not another government commission. the government lies according to stella, constantly, and transparency is a joke. guest: well, if transparency is
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the joke, i guess i'm the punch line, i'm sorry, stella. but at least the way it's envisioned, this is a government function and the government tends to handle inhanchtely governmental fungses so in this case it makes sense to have members in government and outside of government to serve to keep a close eye on what's going on. and one of the things i like about the legislation is sthrees an advisory committee that will be created between 10-20 representatives on the advisory committee. and what these folks will do, one, they will come from the private sector, the non-profit world and inspector general, and they will keep an eye on what the commission does. they will make sure all the money can be made available so you can make whatever decision you wish, in terms of whether you believe it's being spent appropriately or otherwise. host: tell us more about "the sun." what do you guys do? and where does your money come
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from? >> guest: so "the sun" is a non-profit and non-partisan organization. we've 45 staff and $8 million or $9 million a year budget. and find out where every penny, down to $250. the vast majority of our funding comes from other organizations. we work to try to make government more open and transparent. there's a small member of which i'm a part that speak to congress and the executive branch and promote legislation and ideas that help make the government more open and accountability. we also have a number of tools with 20 doers on staff and have great tools to help you figure out things from tools to an app. our congress app available on android and iphone. you can look at influence explorer where you can track
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where all the campaign money is coming from and who it goes to. i would suggest you check out sunlight foundation.com because there's tons of information there and we have a number of reporters on staff. they do two things. one, original reporting with what's going on with with regard to transparency and travel around the world to better make use of the data we help make available so they can tell stories about what's going on. host: our next call comes from falls church, virginia. james, you're on the "washington journal" with daniel schuman of the sunlight foundation. go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. first of all i'm a former hill staffer and i know the work of the sunlight foundation commission. -- "the sun." i think you guys are great and do great work. so to be to be against it is kind of like being against mom and apple pie, but there's a
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problem, it feeds into a narrative that our problems are waste fraud, and you mentioned the term, there's not a line in the budget that's waives fraud and abuse. and even if you made -- waifed a magic wand you wivepbt come close to solving our budgetary problems. 65% want the budget balanced and 65% don't want this or that. when this kind of thing -- it's a useful tool, don't get me wrong. but when this kind of thing it allows the public to say they don't want to tax beyond its
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means but want to live beyond their means. you need to get out the message that this isn't going to fix our profpblet it's simply one tool among many tools. i wanted to make that point because i worked on the hill for 20-odd years, and you ran into that all the time where everybody was sure. the one lady tweeted who said they are all corrupt. well, they are not. they are trying to reconcile the irreconcilable and to do the impossible is frankly the impossible. host: daniel schuman, go ahead. guest: so james, you make a very interesting point. the data act and transparency measures will not make the decisions for us. but they can give all of us the tools like you mentioned, all of us the ability to make the kind of decisions we need to make. we can always disagree on what outcome is appropriate. but we should all have the same
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data available. we should all be starting at the same basis. it gives us the firm base to make these decisions. whether you believe it will result in the government shrinking or believe it will result in making the government more efficient or any other things people throughout believe but without this we cannot make the reasons or decisions we need to make which is why this is a crucial first step. then it allows us to have the policy debate as to what we should do next. host: we have got a tweet from liz smith who writes i personally do not want more government transparency, and if i see anymore corruption, i will just give up! our next call on our line for independents. carmen, you're on the "washington journal." caller: thank you. i'm just on this accountability thing, it's been bothering me
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for 30-40 some-odd years. i'm a 100% disabled veteran than vietnam and look at wars differently than everybody else, because i look at what happens afterwards, and when i watched all the oil companies jump in iraq and bought the oil for $1 a barrel rather than $100 a barrel. the american people got screwed. our blood and everything wasted so that the oil companies can get the benefit. every american goes by and keeps paying err penny they got. this economy is on life support because the oil companies are raising the price of gas on us after we facilitated all the oil for them for practically
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free! host: daniel schuman, go ahead. guest: first of all, carmen, thank you for your service. it's important that we all be able to see, if there are sweetheart deals, money that's being spent inappropriately or inconsistently, we just recently saw the scandal at the g.s.a. where almost $800,000 were spent by all accounts on a lavish and inappropriate demomps las vegas. we need to make sure this information is available so you and i and everyone else can see if there are these inappropriate deals like you say, going on, so we can make a determination on whether we want to stop them, and if so, how? host: you talk about the g.s.a. conference that was written about. we will be looking at -- under the headline, g.s.a. headline
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gives impa 'tis to transparency amid the scandal senator mark warner plans to reintroduce a transparency bill this week as the house prepares to vote on a companion piece of legislation. warner, democrat of virginia suggests, the recent up roar which cost taxpayers $823,000 could spark new interest in passing legislation to enhance disclosures of government expenditures. so my question to you, daniel schuman of the sunlight foundation, how would the implementation of the digital accountability and transparency act of 2012 have any effect on this g.s.a. scandal? guest: well, it would have made it possible to find out what was going on in advance. based on the reports i read, the reason they started to investigate or were asked to do
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so was because of the problems they were hearing. so we had a whistleblower-type of situation. if you had this information availableline in real time, you can start finding out. you can basically build tools that will track it, so if you see that there is inappropriate spending going on, you can catch it in the bud. in the g.s.a. scandal itself, for example, there were six or seven trips to las vegas prior to the conference itself a number based on the report were inappropriate and over budget. if you can look at all the different agencies and see what they are spending on conferences and travel and look at historical norms and see how much is being spent for each program and entity, you can build tools that will give you an alert immediately so instead of waiting 18 months or never finding out what happened, you can find out almost immediately
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that something's not right so instead of having to wait for the scandal to erupt 18 months later, you may be able to nip it in the bud. so that's the point, to make it possible to make decisions at the time the government is acting and not waiting until there are problems that show up months or years later. host: we're talking about public accountability of spending with daniel schuman of the sunlight foundation. he works with executive branch staff to craft transparency and ethics policies in government and how much input did "the sun" have in the crafting of the data act? guest: we had a number of organizations that work regularly with the ledge islators who are drafting this legislation. transparency has long been the per view of the house committee that came up with this
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legislation. so they made an effort to consult everybody. they spoke with us and other non-profits and people inside government. this has been at least a two-year effort in the making to get to this point. they have been working very hard on a number of initiatives. telling that, this legislation itself had bipartisan support. it was both the chairman icea and cummings, they voted on this unanimously. one of my colleagues wrote about the hearing as the where everybody the love boat where everybody was sort of happy with each other. and that's not something where you see a bitter and divided washington. so we've seen a sfancht effort to work together and we were happy to be part of the process. host: in our discussion of public accountability of federal spending on the "washington journal." our next call comes from
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prosperity, south carolina. othse on our line for independents. go ahead. caller: i'm glad you answered my call. i think this is the fourth time i've gotten thirty. i have a question i would like to ask. how much of the social security fund has been used to finance war or other expenditures that don't have to do with the social security system? and will it have information -- your site have information as to how long this has been going on? guest: so i don't know the answer to part of your question. in terms of how much social security has been used to finance wars and things along those lines, i'm not a budget expert in that way, so i can't answer that question for you. i wish that i could. but in terms of -- i should also clarify, this is not my site. i work for a non-profit organization. this would be your site run by
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the federal government on behalf of all of us. in terms of tracking social security, there's significant and contentious debate in washington, in and around the country about how money is spent and drawing do unthe trust fund in writing i.o.u.'s. this comes down to the debate about the funagibility of the money so with respect to the social security money going to pay for wars, what i would look at is the bottom line. i would look at the president's budget and simply try to determine from there how much money is being spevent on the war, because ultimately the all the money is coming from the same pocket, that's yours. host: this tweet says over $20 million went overseas to corrupt bankers.
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will the digital accountability and transparency act allow folks like this person where big money goes and in fact is going to corrupt bankers overseas? guest: so there's a provision within the data act that relates to corrupt businesses, so that if there is money -- probably more details than you want but there's basically a list of contractors that have had problems with the federal government and have had criminal charges made against them and often what they do is change their name. so they will go and change their name and right now the government can't tell that a and b are actually the same entity. so the data act will show when you're dealing with a particular business or person and they engage in fraud, you will be able to figure out who
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they are no matter what they change their name to. as far as spending $26 million overseas, i don't have an answer to that question but if the federal government is spending it, you will be able to track it. host: and daniel, you're at c-span where we believe there's never too many details. back to the phones. on our democrats line, go ahead. caller: thank you. i've waited about six or seven minutes, so i'm glad i'm on an early show and i'm able to ask my question, but however, you have answered a lot of my questions in that time. as a meeting planner, i was kind of stunned at the g.s.a. outcomes and i wrote obama about a year ago about wanting more transparency in budgets and it would be more interesting for people to hear and know where our money is going. so i think what your organization is doing is just wonderful, regardless. and i guess my only question is
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in terms of budget, one of the things i see, and you answered that question is how do you report something you see that you find excessive? i know here in chicago, in some western suburbs and north suburbs, there's a lot of road construction going on, and you wonder if it's absolutely necessary and then you understand the budgets and how they are generally defined a year in advance, and then the money is usually spent. all of it, regardless. sometimes of the need, so again, i like what you're doing with transparency, and hopefully lit bring more attention to necessity, and money can go to other places. host: carol, before we let you go, as a meeting planner in the chicago area, do you deal with federal agencies, and help them plan meetings out there?
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caller: you know, i don't. i do know of some people that do. i'm just west of chicago, and i remember when a position was posted for the g.s.a. for a meeting planner, and i was actually, you know, it was a very intense position and it was very well-marketed, and i do -- i did work for a government education laboratory when computers were put into schools in 1984, they established 10 labs across the country and their budgets and policies were very specific. and dealing with corporations, i've worked in 26 companies and associations and organizations in 34 years, and i really see most organizations are very particular about what they spend per person on meals and limit things on transportation and perdiems, so i'm actually quite surprised that occurred with the g.s.a. and i think it's very rare.
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host: carol, we're going to leave it there. daniel schuman of the sin sun. pick it up. guest: so the federal government actually like everybody else has limits in what they are allowed to spend on these transactions everything from cost per meal per day and cost per rooms and things along those lines. what was notable, at least based upon the report i read is how much they exceeded those guidelines perhaps resulting in possible criminal pents. certainly we've seen a number of people resigning as well. so you were talking about road construction. one piece has to do is are they building the road in the right place and using the right things, that's oftentimes a political or agency question so you need to talk to the appropriate agency with road construction. it could be the city or state that's doing it. a lot of money could be coming from the federal government,
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but you asked a separate question, what do you do if you see something going on that you think is wrong? well, there's a lot of ways to address that. if you're inside the government, one of the easiest things to do is you can try to tell your boss and work your way up the food change. sometimes you will see positive responses and all too often you will see people punished for doing the right thing. there are inspector generals in every department that take whistleblower complaints and there's a committee on oversight in the senate and government reform, and they will look into these things so if you see waste fraud and abuse, you can report it. if it's more of a decision of why are you working on this road instead of that road? oftentimes that's a decision made at the state or local level and for those kinds of things you really have to work through the political process
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as opposed to reporting it to people who work on these types of problems. host: you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning, gentlemen. i hope you just bear with me for a moment. but first off, i would like to say, i totally respect the united states government. and i'm a veteran. and i have transport president of the united states. -- i respect the president of the united states. but i want to know how anybody can be held accountable on anything, because it starts at your local level, and it goes from your local level, your county level, your state level all the way up. and no matter what they do, it doesn't seem that you can hold them accountable. host: in addition to that, i want to tack on this tweet. he writes, accountability on
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federal spending? this sounds like a joke. the fox is in the hen house, so with the data act partially intact. it still has to go through the other side of capitol hill, who watches the watchers in this case, daniel schuman? guest: we do. that's the short answer. with the data act you will be able to do so as well. with the question, and first of all, don, thank you also for your service. the real point here, i mean, the core of all this is making it so we can see what's going on. what we do with that information is up to us. there's going to be another election in november. and at that time if you see that there are people doing things that you don't like, you can vote them out. you can call them. you can write them. when they come back to the district and they campaign, you can ask them difficult and unpleasant questions which is
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something i get to do on a professional and daily basis and i know that's not uncommon for c-span to always find out more and more interesting things about what the government is danny. you can use the media to put pressure on folks to find out what's going on. so there are many ways to hold these people accountable, and much of it comes down to the ballot box and that's where it comes down to you. host: jackie calling from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. caller: good morning. i'm wondering is there any way that you're going to be doing this is we need a streamline government. i mean, it's way too big. we have to put something all over the place, and we have a debt up to $16 trillion. we can't wait a whole lot of time to get this under control. i'm 66 years old and i've never liked the social security system or medicare system the way it's run.
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i have kids and grandchildren. and i really don't want them with this debt. it's just unbelievable to me the corruption. and the bigger it gets, the more corrupt it comes, and i've got a question. i don't know how the energy department got all this noun spend on things that have gone down tubes. marcellus: jackie in pittsburgh. daniel schuman, go ahead. guest: what's interesting with as i len dray, right now with what's currently available with information, you would not be able to find out all that was going on with silendra, but with the data act you would be able to find out what's going on. and one thing you will like is right now there's a multiplicity of reporting systems. there's six ones throughout o.m.b., g.s.a. and some of the other federal agencies. when there's dupe la can ative
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reporting, it will eliminate it. when there are efforts that are broken up, it will branch them together so it makes more sense so when we need to make the tough decisions about where to spend money and how much, we will have the information to make those decisions, all of us, together. host: from bulls head busch bull head city, arizona. colleen go ahead. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my question is do you think that all the tarp money that was put out to help companies and banks will be returned to the federal government? within the last couple weeks i've seen twice a two-hour program about this. and it looks like $1.5 trillion were put out in the tarp funds, and do you believe it will be
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returned to the government by the people that accepted the money? guest: i don't have an answer to that question, but i can tell you where to find out. several of my colleagues at "the sun" have been tracking tarp spending down to the penny, if you go to reporting at sunlight foundation.com you will be able to find out about tarp, how much is being paid back and i strongly recommend you check it out. host: coming up, it looked at the work behind the scenes in congress on immigration legislation. our guest is fawn johnson of the national journal joining us to talk about that. later, a discussion on the 10th amendment and states' rights issues with louis michael seidman and roger pilon.
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you are watching "washington journal." we will be right back. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> born in the north korean world league of war camp, it was the only world she had ever known. she is also the only one to ever escape from camp 14. >> the first memory after the age of four was going with his mom to replace in the camp to watch somebody get shot. public executions were held every few weeks. they were a way of punishing people who violated camp rules and of terrorizing the 40,000 people lived in the camp to obey
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the rules from then on. >> sunday, in his journey out of north korea and learning about society and civilization. may 6, look for our interview that coincides with the release of "passage of power, volume four." >> we are at the national public radio table. that is good. i cannot remember where we landed on that. >> later today, the 98 annual white house correspondents' dinner. president obama and jimmy kimmel headline the event.
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watch the entire dinner only on c-span. you can find the celebrity guest list, highlights of past dinners, plus blog and social media posts. the white house correspondents' dinner is live at 6:30 eastern on c-span. "washington journal" continues. host: a fawn johnson is a correspondent with national journal. in light of supreme court arguments on sb 1070, she is here to discuss immigration reform efforts behind the scenes in congress. tell us what is going on behind the scenes regarding immigration reform. guest: quite a bit of little conversations are happening. it is not like 2007 when they were discussing a comprehensive bill everyone was watching, but
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there are little pieces of it happening all over the capital. a good example would be the house passed a bill last year withat changes the way visas are given. they did manage to get something through. for the house, that is unusual. in the senate, we got senator marco rubio who is making a little bit of news on the dream act for undocumented students who are here and want to go to college. he is trying to suggest there should be something we can do for those kids. maybe not give them citizenship, but at least help them out. that is different from what we have seen in the last several years. there are people all over the capitol who have been involved in immigration who have their proposals. they are waiting for an opportunity to put them forward. host: you bring up senator
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mark a rubio. earlier in the week, there was this headline. the speakers sounded a pessimistic note on the prospects of the modified dream act proposal making it into law this year. john boehner said in response to whether the house could focus -- pass a bill not focused on border security that it was not likely to happen. currently, there is no immigration legislation on the floor. what are they waiting for? guest: they are waiting to see what happens with the supreme court. this week, the supreme court weighed in on one of the biggest immigration cases in the last 10 years. the supreme court decision will be more about states' rights and the things they're talking about in congress. it will set the tone for for what congress needs to do and
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what the states need to do. the other thing they're waiting for is the election. that is more important. everybody knows there is a huge population of hispanics that are growing. they made a dent in the 2010 elections in nevada. the question is, can they make a dent in this presidential election? i have not seen the make -- i have not seen them make the kind of them because politicians to shift their position. i think it is coming. i think they're waiting for the subtle sign that the door may open and you can talk about something other than border security without being punished. host: is it possible senator the dream actn of could pass in the house even without border security
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measures? guest: this year, probably unlikely. if there were any attempt, it would be combined with enforcement proposals in the house. rep smith of texas has been trying to get one through all term long. it requires employers to check the status of new hires. it has been discussed for more than 10 years in congress. they have been trying to get it on the floor. it does not necessarily have support. people like lamar smith could step forward with a proposal. it becomes a mess of little pieces here and there. it could be interesting to see how the conversation goes. passing, i am not so sure. host: if senator rubio is chosen
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by governor romney to be his running mate, does that give his dream act proposal more street credibility? guest: i think it does. the interesting thing about senator rubio is he is more concerned about how republicans are talking about immigration than the actual policies. he is concerned some of the people who have been more vehement about cracking down on illegal immigration are the ones carrying the conversation. there is a broader way to discuss it. he is rightly worried about alienating the hispanic population. it is not necessarily true that hispanics and the scene shows -- and the latinos will all vote democrat. if republicans continue to only talk in terms of border security, it alienates them. he is trying to change the conversation. if chosen as vice presidential
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candidate, that would indicate romney also wants to be softer about the conversation. host: we're talking about immigration reform in congress with fawn johnson of national journal. she wrote this week about the oral arguments going on regarding the arizona immigration case. the oral arguments are going on in front of the supreme court. if you want to get more information, you can find them on our website, c-span.org. we are going to go to the phones. the first call comes from strasbourg, pa., on the line for independents. caller: thank you for taking my call. i want to comment on the conversation in general. it seems whoever controls the language controls the conversation. some folks want to call these
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people in question undocumented workers. whether they're working or not is up for debate. whether document or not depends. do they forged documents, whatever? other people want to call them illegal aliens, implying they cross the border illegally and are foreign nationals. it seems to me the people who have won agenda call it one l.a. the other people with another agenda call it another way. how about we call people who they are. you are here illegally, you are illegal. host: we will leave it there. guest: that is the classic political problem. it is not just in immigration that it happens. i have been trying to write about the issue. technically the term "alien" maybe the most legally correct,
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although it conjures up images of spacecraft and things like that. we try not to do about -- we try not to use that. "immigrant" is someone who has moved to another country to live. that is not necessarily the case of all foreigners who are here. i use terms like "undocumented" and "illegal" with the hopes we all understand what we're talking about. there are people of crossed the border illegally, sometimes multiple times. it is considered a crime. there are people who have come here on tourist visas and overstayed. that is a violation. it is not a crime according to the law. it is like getting a traffic ticket. it is a difficult question, but i take the caller's point. how you talk about it can change
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the way people view it. one example of that is the arizona law. it has been talked about in a variety of ways. when you look at it, it is a much more taylor blocked -- tailored law than that. makes a difference. host: mary is calling from tennessee. caller: i am a republican. i do believe in immigration reform, especially the dream act. the children of immigrants, it is not their fault. they should be able to go to college. if they do not have papers, they have to pay $30,000 a year to go. i think this would take a lot of the kids off the street. it would give them some kind of the future -- of the future and they could make a difference. guest: i take the point very well. you are a good example of the
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conversation marco rubio is trying to encourage. there are different categories of undocumented immigrants. the current law as it stands puts them all in the same place. one thing i have been interested in watching the last few years is how sympathetic the dreamers have become. it changes the dialogue about immigration. when congress was debating comprehensive reform, the dream act was one small slice of that legislation. it was almost a given that we're going to do that at the same time we did everything else. it has become as great rallying point around which a lot of immigration reform advocates have gathered. i think it is helping the conversation. host: surely is on the line for republicans from st. louis, missouri.
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caller: i have four points i would like to make. it drives me crazy when i hear people talk. is there any of the country -- is there any other country in the world accepts people? every country protects their border and says he can come in and who cannot. no. two, when they talk about the hispanic voters, is there ever an attempt made to say how many of those hispanics are documented or not in the sample? umber three, i want to know about racial profiling. i know it is not pleasant, but is there a law against it or is it just something unpleasant?
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the last is very important. i have watched c-span for years. one of the things that drives me crazy is that when president bush was in office, on your scroll across the border, instead of republicans, it said "support bush," democrat, and independent. guest: let's talk first about the racial profiling issue. that has come up. it is important to understand there are many laws about racial profiling. it is hard to define what it is. i have spent time with police officers in arizona. their job is to catch the term they use, "the bad guys.
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" they have a profile of how they look. it involves the time of day they see them, how many in a car, how they might be addressed. they know what they are looking for. they spend a lot of time on drug smugglers, people cargo. that is technically profiling. there is a strict law in arizona and a federal law against using race as a defining characteristic of that. it becomes more difficult in practice. when the united states sued arizona for its block the they said went too far, never in the course did they bring up racial profiling. it is something civil-rights activists have talked about a lot. i think they have a point. but the terms of the lot are clear. it is something you are not supposed to do.
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it comes up in any kind of law enforcement category. i found interesting the united states chose not to talk about in front of the justices and instead talked about states' rights. we can talk about the hispanic vote. i think the caller makes an interesting point. it is difficult under census counts to determine how many people are undocumented and how many are here legally. there are ways to get at that. we really do not know. the other thing to remember is to vote, you have to be a citizen. that is the voting bloc people are worried about. you know there are a sizable chunk of the hispanic voters in states like nevada. that is a different conversation. it is a smaller sampling, but the idea is -- there are some
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who might say this. it is not the most popular point of view. but if you start to legalize a bunch of undocumented people, you will have a lot more voters. it will take 10 or 20 years. host: regarding your concern about how we divide the lines, we're constantly looking at that and trying to refine the way we define the lines for callers hoping to engage folks in a more lively discussion. hopefully we are discussions -- hopefully we are successful with that. you are on the line with fawn johnson. caller: when rubio talks about the hispanics going to college, what is the amount of money they're going to put out? are they going to do still glows
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like they do for the children in the united states? you say they take away from the work force. why are you giving them an education that will take away from our children that need an education? host: barbara, in pittsburgh, pa. guest: let's be clear. this is not the population of day laborers we see anecdotally who have a difficult job in the roofing industry or farming industry where they say they cannot get someone like me to do those jobs. this is a different group of people. these are kids who have grown up here. a lot of them did not look any different from others in high school. a lot of the stories that came out, they did not know they were undocumented until they tried to apply to college. as i understand it, the
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legalization hype of how they will register the kids is not the same thing as citizens. i do not believe they have gotten into the level of detail where they will be putting out any money at all. what they're talking about doing is giving them the opportunity to go to school in their states with in-state tuition. this is some dollar value, but it is not about giving them the benefit of the government will be paying for. when they talk about legalization, is about how they qualify. how long have you been in the country? order you planning on doing? -- what are you planning on doing? what are the steps you need to take to become legal? it would be a student visa, for example, and maybe you get in line for a citizen visa.
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it is probably more about fees from the undocumented people. host: donald is calling from michigan on the line for democrats. caller: i think president sinces immigration policy he has been in office have been pretty good. if i am not mistaken, there has been less immigration across the borders from mexico into this country since he has been in office. he has put more people and resources on the borders. i think he is doing as good a job as possible as far as immigration. on reform, i think we need a policy that opens the door for more illegals to become american. we're trying to fight something
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i think is impossible to fight. we need to open up the border, figure out ways to do commerce peacefully and stop the crime. host: donald, we will leave it there. how much real difference is there between what the administration wants to do in terms of immigration policy and what the congress is trying to do? guest: it depends on whether you are talking to republicans or democrats. president obama has been clear from the beginning that he wants to see a comprehensive system. it died on the floor in 2007. it was the same thing with president bush. he has completely embraced the enforcement elements of the immigration policy being discussed in 2007. we have the highest number of deportations ever under the
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obama administration. i was in arizona a couple of months ago maturing along the tucson border -- touring along with tucson border. they have a new command center. this is where you have more than 1/3 of illegal immigrants crossing. that command center had never been in place before obama came into office. it is very impressive to see how people work down there. it is almost like a military zone in the desert. they are very good about policing it. obama has upheld his end of the bargain on that front. i think there needs to be a way to make the 12 million people here illegally more a part of society in some direction. the problem is there is no vehicle for that to happen in congress. keep in mind, obama also pushed hard for the dream act.
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i think he will continue to do that. that is a good target for the rest of the issue in congress. host: new jersey is on the line for independents. martin, you are on the line for "washington journal." caller: i believe illegal aliens should all be deported. in congress, we are arguing over the funding for interest rates. doinghaving a hard time that, stripping women's health rights. nothing is right. you are advocating to take more money away from [unintelligible] for people who did not believe -- along in our country. if 20 million americans went out tomorrow and robbed banks, would
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you be arguing for and the state the following morning? this is what illegal aliens have done with working people's paychecks in this country. guest: a lot of issues recovered. i will touch on a few. the issue of deportation, i take it as you put it forward. there are lots of people who agree with you. the difficulty is it costs money. almost any analyst or enforcement officer would tell you is impossible. i disagreed -- i do agree that technically these people are in violation of the law. if you had unlimited resources, they would be punished in the appropriate manner. i think there is an issue with your concept of robbing banks. let's be clear. some people who are here illegally are criminals. they are drug smugglers.
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they come over the fence into phoenix. that is the equivalent of bank robbery the administration and police are spending a lot of time trying to apprehend those people. i would also offer another analogy to a bank robber. think about a speeding ticket. that is another way to think about some of these people, particularly the kids. yes, you overstay your visa. you came in and got caught of status. that is a violation of law just like going over the speed limit. does that mean you need to put in jail or reporter? maybe not. maybe you need a fine. that is what happens the current enforcement system. it is more complicated. there are gradations to the types of crime and how we deal with them. is the question of resources.
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how much time and money are you going to spend trying to round up these people? it is not really possible. host: jason sends us this tweet . guest: i am fascinated by this secret both -- bill. i talked to her for an hour before she told me about this because of the sensitivity of the issue, because there are republicans involved. here is what i know. it is comprehensive. it covers every aspect of immigration law that has been under discussion since i have been covering it for a decade. it lists some think all members -- she would not reveal who the people were negotiating this. it was republicans and democrats in the house.
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they had all agreed and said they would sign off on it. they were so afraid of it leaking that a watermark to every copy and put it under lock and key. the reason she told me about this in our interview was because someone else mentioned it. she felt she was allowed to. also she wanted to illustrate that there was the possibility of reaching a deal. the contours' are there. it is just the politics of dealing with immigration have not caught up. it changed how i think about immigration in congress. until i heard about that, i was not sure we see anything happen to the next 45 years. now i am not so sure. -- until i heard about that, i was not sure we would see anything happen in the next four or five years. now i am not so sure. we do not know what is in it. they have kept under lock and key. host: is there a possibility the
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bill will see the light of day in an election year? guest: i think it is talk. talk is important. passing legislation is difficult on the best of days. this is the most politically volatile issue i have ever covered. i think the more people talk about it, the more likely it will happen at some point. not this year. the best we will get is talking with margaret about the tree in act -- the best we will get is talking with marco rubio about the dream act. host: we have been talking with fawn johnson from national journal. you could go to their web site to see her articles. thank you for being on "washington journal." this week, we wrap up our student cam competition focusing on the constitution. after the break, we will continue that theme with a look at the 10th amendment with our
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guests michael seidman and roger pilon. you are watching the "washington journal." we will be right back.
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>> if the fluid can routinely buy their way out of -- if the affluent and routinely buy their way out of public goods, do they lose a state in the public's fear and quality of those goods? >> mercenaries can be paid to fight wars. students can be paid to get good grades. you can pay to jump to the front of the line. sunday night, a harvard professor on what money cannot buy, the moral limits of markets. that is part of book tv this weekend. jacob spoke on capitol hill this
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past week about his abduction and life in the lord's resistance army. >> as always, i was thinking about escaping and coming back home. it was hard to do it. you knew you were unlikely to escape. if you tried it, unfortunately he tried to escape. they brought him back to where we were, where he tried to escape from. to scare us who had been abducted, they said you ever tried to escape, we offered this example to not try to escape. when they brought him back, they knew very well he was my brother. they tied him and killed him in the front of us.
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>> on monday, president obama reaffirmed military advisers will continue to assist groups fighting the lra in africa. fine both events on line -- find both events online at c- span.org/library. host: coming up, we have a discussion on the 10th amendment as part of our series we have been doing on the "washington journal." with us we have louis michael seidman and roger pilon. mr. pilon, tell us what the 10th amendment means to you. guest: is to be understood in the context of the night and 10th amendment. they can be thought of as
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wrapping up the period. the ninth tells us we have rights enumerated and not enumerated. the tent tells us we have rights only enumerated in the constitution. what you have with the 9th and 10th a man is a restatement of limited government first set forth in the declaration of independence. it is restated in this wrapup, the last two documents from the, foundingthe in the bill of -- the last to the documents from the founding period, in the bill of rights. host: you say the 10th amendment is widely misunderstood. why is that?
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guest: need to go into a little background first. my good friend roger is wearing his james madison tie. james madison was the author of the 10th amendment. it is ironic he is wearing this tied. at this point in his career, james madison was a strong believer in federal power in the national government. his most famous writing, one of the most famous writings in the history of american political thought, argued liberte chan best be -- argue that liberty could best be supported in large republics. when the convention was over, he wrote he thought the conviction was a failure because a provision was not passed.
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madison was the author of this. it says roughly what rogers says it says. but it says something that was clear from the constitution to begin with. that is to say congress exercise the powers delegated to it, principally in article one, and not other powers. on the floor of congress, an amendment was suggested that would have said congress was limited to expressly delegated powers. madison opposed the amendment. he said it would be too constricting on the federal government and the amendment was defeated. that was the original language in the articles of confederation. it is obvious the framers of the amendment wanted more power exercised than had been under the articles. guest: what mike sent is true.
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madison, like most of the other founders, wanted a larger and more powerful federal government, but an extremely limited one as well. in federalist 10, is what he said. in federalist 45, madison made it clear the powers of the new government were to be a "view and defined -- "few and defined" with most of the powers left to the states or individuals. host: we're going to be debating the 10th amendment of the constitution for the next 15 minutes or so. it is being invoked in the immigration and health care law. we will discuss that in a few seconds. we want to let viewers and
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listeners know, they can get involved in the conversation. you can also get us electronically on e-mail, twitter, and facebook. the first call comes from mesa, ariz.. jan, this would not be governor brewer would it? caller: no, but i voted for her. this has been dumped on us. people do not realize -- they do not live here. i love the way washington tells us what to do. they do not have people. they do not know who is here. our neighborhoods are run down. we have 20 or 30 people in one bedroom. our education system is
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daunting. you go to the hospital and wait 17 hours. it goes on and on. the lady before keeps talking about the dream act. the problem with the sweetheart dream act, she calls it a little slice, you can bring hundreds of people with each student. they show the poster child. they do not show all of these illegal immigrants. they are not all sweetheart's like they're talking about. we should have the right to protect the border. i do not get it. i am third generation. my grandchild is sixth generation. what will it be like in this country if we cannot protect the states rights to protect our border? host: address her concerns and talk to us about what you saw or heard from the justices this week that might lead you to believe they are going to invoke some sort of 10th
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amendment reasoning in their ultimate decision on the case. guest: the case before the supreme court has nothing to do with the 10th amendment. the issue is whether a federal statute supersedes statutes passed by the state legislature. nobody questions the fact that the federal statutes constitutional -- are constitutional. congress has the power to regulate immigration. the only question before the supreme court is whether congress has or is meant to preempt state law on a similar subject. that is not an issue about the 10th amendment. that is an issue about preemption, whether federal
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statutes are broad enough to occupy the whole field and prevent arizona from doing what it did. i do want to say it is not constitute an issue -- i do want to say -- it is not about the constitutional issue. i want to say a word about the caller's attitude. host: we will continue to move the conversation along. our callers have a lot of attitude. guest: i believe it is a 10th amendment issue. the federal government has plenary power to set immigration law. nothing in the arizona statute changes that substance of law. the question is one of enforcement. to both federal and state governments have concurrent enforcement power? that is not necessarily a pre-
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emption issue. what this caller raised was the problem the federal government is not enforcing its own law. that raises the question. does the state have the power to enforce the law? in the oral argument this week, that is exactly the issue that came up. does the state have to remain disarmed so to speak to protect its own citizens if the federal government is not doing so? none of this has anything to do with the substance of the immigration policy. i would probably join mike in saying our substantive immigration law leaves much to be desired and we need something like worker provisions to have itinerant workers coming in for agriculture and so forth. the issue under the 10th amendment is one of concurrent enforcement. host: back to the phones, louis,
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missouri, scott is on the line for republicans. caller: i know we're talking about states' rights. the supreme court justices views regarding states' rights and the rights of the federal government to step in, what are your thoughts? guest: is little misleading to speak of states' rights. states do not have rights as much as they have powers. this is a tricky area of the law. you have a federal government enumerated powers to create post offices and so on. there are 18 powers the federal government has under the constitution. the rest of the powers, including the police powers, belong to the states or
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individuals. you have to have on a case by case basis a determination of the scope of the federal power so you know where the line is between federal and state power. it is not an easy issue, especially in the case of the congress cause. [no audio]
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the decision was if they continued counting, it would harm court. i saw that as a violation against states' rights to continue with a problem with can see -- continuing with her procedure. the supreme court said this was our decision, please do not use this for a precedent.
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guest: the decision in bush-four is complicated. i will not get into it here. i think everyone agrees the court's reasoning was flawed. it was not only flawed. it was completely bought of character with the position conservative governments have taken about the voting rights and the 14th amendment. i think even a conservative judge has agreed it was entirely political. it reinforces some bank which americans ought to understand. that is the supreme court is a political institution. justices have strong political
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views. the decisions they make are not affected by those views, especially when the stakes are high. guest: we disagree on this issue. i thought the decision was forced upon the court. there was enough mischief in florida to go around. they have to bring this to a conclusion because the constitution required the matter be settled. host: we have a tweet from larry. roger pilon? guest: he is right. you have the first of congress's enumerated powers which have been a source of great mischief,
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the power to tax and spend for the general welfare. it was a term of art meant to subsume the particular powers listed in the rest of the enumerated powers. the power to spend is not found there. strictly speaking, if you have to get the power to spend after you have got the power to appropriate. those could be governed properly under the necessary and proper clause which is the last of congress's enumerated powers. what we have now, under the new deal revolution, is a reading of the so-called general welfare cause such that it gives congress the power to tax and spend for anything, provided it
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serves the general welfare. there is nothing that cannot be read to serve the general welfare. this reading of it undermines the general idea of a document of delegating limited and enumerated powers. that is what i mean when i say the new deal turned constitution on its head. host: we're talking about the 10th amendment and states' rights with louis michael seidman, a professor at georgetown law center. roger pilon is the constitutional studies director at the cato institute. our next call comes from south carolina. robert is on the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: they want to use the amendment to subjugate certain people to the whims of the few individuals. that is my comment. thank you very much. guest: rogers said a number of things.
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we turned to another caller. i cannot let them go undefeated. u --nrefu -- i cannot let them go unrefuted. idiosyncratics and has not endorsed by a justice in 50 years. madison thought the powers were limited to other powers granted by congress. hamilton thought the office. come to's view has prevail. the first decision that made it clear was a decision by the most conservative justices who sat on the supreme court in 200 years, the roosevelt four horsemen of reaction. they said hamilton's view was correct. guest: it was dicta in the case.
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the following year, the elevated it to move in. it was the new deal that turned the constitution on its head. guest: there have been a lot of justice is -- guest: the caller raised the issue of rights. that is a very different issue. that is what we've been talking about, powers. rights are a different matter. the caller raised the point that the 10th amendment has been used to violate rights, if i heard him correctly. that is an issue that was addressed during the civil war, or after the civil war, with the 14th amendment. it gave federal remedies against state violations of rights. without the 14th amendment, he would not have this kind of liberty we enjoy today via your
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own state. host: ebert, you are on the "washington journal." get in here. caller: thank you for taking my call. i know we're talking about the 10th amendment. i think we should look at big problems. it is basically the supreme court. the third article of the constitution stipulates that a judge be appointed for life. it does not seem obligational president or anything else. host: edward, we need to stay on topic. if you have a question or comment regarding the 10th amendment, let's hear it. otherwise we will move on to another call. caller: congress is taking over the constitution. this is the problem. we should have non-lawyers on the court. something should be done about it. there is nothing in the constitution that says you have to be -- the constitution was
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written by farmers and soldiers , common people. host: edward, we will leave it there. guest: roger, your thoughts? -- host: roger, your thoughts? guest: i am in sympathy with his comments about your lawyers and it being less-technical. one important point is the supreme court has substantially distort to the 10th amendment. that is what i mean when i say it has been misunderstood. roger accurately summarized the 10th amendment. it says if a power is not delegated to the federal government, it is reserved for the states or people.
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the opposite follows from that. if a power is delegated to the federal government, it has the right to exercise the power. in a couple of recent cases, the supreme court has said even though congress has done something within its delegated powers, the forces of the 10th amendment cause it to be unconstitutional. this is striking coming from justices who claim to be original lists. justice scalia conceded there was nothing in the text or history of the amendment that supported what he was doing. then he went on to do it. host: we're going to take a call from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. bob is on the line for republicans.
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caller: i found it interesting states have to go to the supreme court to enforce federal law. it is more political than anything else. it is at the point where 12 million people are in this country. other countries would call them foreign invaders. though the constitution and do what is right for the country. -- go by the constitution and do what is right for the country. guest: the question that was before the court is not whether state government is usurping federal power concerning making the law or with respect to enforcing it and whether there is not concurrent jurisdiction with respect to enforcement between the federal and state government. if the federal government does not enforce the law, the states may step in and enforce federal law.
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there is a long history of states being able to enforce federal law. one of the questions that came up during oral argument from a number of the justices was coming due states have to do nothing in the face of the situation before them because the federal government is doing nothing? guest: bob says we should go by the constitution. let's go by the constitution. for better or worse, it gives immigration power to the federal government. for better or worse, the supremacy clause says when the federal government exercises the power, the states cannot do anything contrary to it. this is a matter of statutory destruction. if congress exercised that power, going by the constitution, it means state laws pre-empted. guest: that is the point. the states are doing nothing contrary to federal law. that is one of the questions put to the solicitor general this past week.
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why is it that you are objecting to the states doing what you are refusing to do? host: washington, d.c., sharon is on the line for democrats. caller: every state is different. we have such a different government from every place in the world. southern states did not want to give african-americans equal rights. the federal government had to step in. i think the federal government is a good overseer for states may go out of bounds, such as arizona and places that want to so-called get rid of illegal aliens. i am part native american. imagine how my people feel when all these europeans and spaniards came over and started taking over our country.
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guest: sharon is right about the 14th amendment. before it was adopted, the assumption was the primary protection for the rights of individuals on the state level. the civil war, offended that assumption. it came to be seen -- the civil war upended that assumption. it came to be seen that local governments could oppressed people as well as vindicate rights. on top of the local protections, there was the federal protection laid over that so people could go to the federal government for the vindication of their rights. sharon is right. that is what happened 50 years ago during civil rights. it continues to happen sporadically and not adequately today. host: the next call comes from
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tom on the line for independents from new jersey. caller: i am a little confused. the fact of the matter is we have a federal law which is supposed to take care of our borders, which has not been done for a number of years. now we have a large population that needs to be addressed. the bottom line is these people broke the law to begin with. you cannot usurp that. if the federal government is not going to do the things they're supposed to be doing, how is the state supposed to do with the internal problems caused by the federal government doing nothing? i appreciate your answer to that. host: roger pilon? guest: i will repeat what i said before. if we had a situation, as we saw in the oral argument in the
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supreme court, that has arisen because the federal government is not carrying out these laws. let me also say i think that lot needs to be fundamentally reformed. we need a death -- guest worker program to address agricultural needs in this country, and we need high-end, high-skilled workers immigration as well. your caller is absolutely right with the problems that conflict certain states such as arizona that are that it's for this kind of illegal immigration -- that are magnets for these kind of illegal immigration. >> mike seidman -- host: mike
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seidman, my understanding it is the supreme court has only declared a law unconstitutional for violating the 10th amendment two times. why is the 10th amendment so rarely used to overturn other laws? guest: those times were in the cases i referred to, and the reason it is not rely upon his because it says something that is already true without it. it makes something clear that people might have pelted. -- doubt it. it is already true without the 10th amendment that the only powers the federal government has are those delegated to it in article 1. you do not need the 10th amendment to declare that if congress succeeds those powers it has acted unconstitutionally. if the court were to declare the
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health care law unconstitutional, it could easily do that without mentioning the 10th amendment, all it has to say is that it is beyond the commerce clause. guest: mike seidman is right -- that of the amendment sets the framework for the constitution'. all the work is done with the clauses in article one, section 8, the commerce clause, for example. one of your callers said is it not taking over? this was the issue before the court in these two cases and today with obama-care -- what is the scope of congress' power to
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overtake? does the congress have the power to order you to buy insurance? this is the scope of the commerce power, then there is nothing congress cannot do, and we no longer have a government of limited powers. host: roger pilon, is the principal of the 10th amendment unique to the united states of america, or do we see this around the world? guest: there are a number of federal systems' liking germany, for example. the framers understood that you do not want to have power located in one place because it becomes very dangerous. they put power against adopt -- power, the federal government against the state government. today, unfortunately, the notion
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of federalism has been lost. what we have today is federal- state partnerships. that is a different arrangement because it often works to the detriment of the liberty federalism was setup to secure. host: a tweet -- host: mike seidman? guest: that is a good question. it was famously said that the constitution was written for many different kinds of people with many different kinds of views, and the constitution is broad enough to encompass a range of different views about economics and the role of
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markets. the framers had particular views on those things, but they are 200 years old, and economics has advanced. people have different views now. we live in a democracy and within a very broad constraints, people are allowed to use what sort of economic system they want to have. hitchcock roger pilon. i have a -- host: roger pilon, i have a tweet -- guest: the is a complex question. people should be free to enter into whatever relationships they
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wished in a free society. that is the best way to begin to answer that question. if they want to pay for things in gold, they should have the right to do so, and the recipient should have the right to deny receiving it. unfortunately, those relationships are constrained by regulations. the idea that hamilton and madison would have disagreed on these principles, i think that is wrong. they were both free marketeers. hamilton, especially. he wanted to see robust, commercial nation. so, the idea that that was the economics of two hundred years ago, as mike suggested, is to be challenged because the principles of economics remain as they were when adams seven -- adam smith first articulated them in 1776, a good year with
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the declaration of independence, and the principles remain the same. the constitution was meant to secure principles such bad free people can exchange in free -- participate in free exchanges. host: we are discussing the 10th amendment, state rights, with michael seidman and roger pilon. back to the phones. in new jersey. independent line. thank you for waiting. caller: 1 we talk about the federal government, we are talking about people, right? i live in new jersey. i'm free to live in arizona, texas, anywhere i want to read some of the governors today are
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not native to their states. i think the whole thing of state rights are blown all out of proportion when we have to live in a country that has come in lot. -- that as common law. host: mike seidman? guest: so, this is one of the ways in which the country has changed dramatically since 1776 or 1789. travel at that time was what -- was much less frequent. the identity was within the state in which people lived. today, there is much more inter- state travel. people go from one place to another. they think of themselves as americans first. because the nature of commerce has changed, it is not
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surprising that the occasions on which the congress exercises its commerce powers -- there is more commerce, so there is more need for regulation. guest: one of the reasons you want to have a wide swath of autonomy for the states is so that states can engage in whatever arrangements their citizens want. take taxation. some states have very onerous tax systems -- new york, california, illinois. other states have no income tax and very limited taxes in other areas, so there for people can go from one state to another, and we see that when you have tax competition, people tend to go where there is lower taxation and lower regulation
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because that is where the economic opportunities are. plymouth, minn. -- host: plymouth, minnesota. republican line. patty. caller: mr. seidman, you are in the real world here. you need to put your big boy pants on. you are not in georgetown. host: did have a specific question about the 10th amendment? caller: you said a lot of our callers have edited. i can imagine what he does to his students -- have attitude. i can imagine what he does to his students. sorry you hung up. i think of myself as living in the real world.
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i did not say what i wanted to say about the call, but maybe i will say it now, my grandparents were immigrants. they came to this country from another country. a lot of what jan said about the immigrants now in arizona are the sorts of things said about my grandparents. now, in turn sell, that after a couple of generations, -- it turns out that after a couple of generations, they became americans. -american. they became part of this country. they became preventive. i think we have to be careful in assuming -- they became productive. i think we have to be careful in assuming that people that come from a different culture cannot be americans. we have a long history of doing
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that. guest: the issue is not immigration, it is legal immigration. guest: my grandparents did come legally, but as it happens a lot of their friends did not. they were escaping from nazi germany. they became americans. guest: will we need to do is conceptualize again our immigration policy because we do not allow for what happened just before world war two, which was scandalous, and what is happening today it is scandalous in many respects. we need fundamental reform. this is what obama promised as he was running for reelection, and in two years when the
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democrats control both houses of congress and the white house they did nothing. guest: immigration can not get a filibuster prepared -- filibuster through. host: we need to get back to the discussion regarding the 10th amendment and state rights. carl. new hampshire. independent line. caller: when i was born in this country, i was a citizen, and all i feel more like a subject. i have a commercial job -- i feel more like a subject. i have a commercial driver's license. homeland security has put in roles that say i have to get the cdl license, go through the testing, and all of that, which i did, and now they have passed
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a rule but if i want to maintain the license i have to get a medical tests. i am not driving a truck right now. right now, it is not legal to drive the truck without a medical test, and now they are making it illegal for me to have a cdl even if i am not on the road. i think they are overstepping their bounds here. i have never overstepped. host: who is requiring you to have the medical card? caller: the federal government. host: is this a 10th amendment issue? guest: i am led to believe that it is burdensome and
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unnecessary. everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional, and i have to think about it, but it is probably the case but congress has the constitutional power to do this, but that does not mean they ought to. host: fort lauderdale, florida. melvin. democrats lined. caller: we have to look back and understand where the founding fathers started out. here are the problems i have. i had -- heard one in beijing gentleman indicate -- i had -- i heard one gentleman talk about who rode -- who signed it, and it did not cover slaves, women,
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native americans, so other than white, wealthy man, who did the constitution cover? that leads into all these other things. host: i want to give in to the point about the -- get to the point about the 10th amendment. caller: certain individuals were able to maintain the rights over what happens. host: let's address this tweet host: your thoughts, roger pilon? guest: on your previous caller, there is no question that the framers wrestled mightily with the problem of slavery. they knew it was not consistent with their founding principles.
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they settled the matter in order to have unity among the states, hoping the institution would wither away in time. it did not. it took a civil war to end slavery, yet in that context we were almost unique in the world in having even the limited franchise we had. europe had nothing like this. the commerce clause is a great problem today. he is right. the commerce clause was written originally to ensure free trade against the kind of state tarr iffs elected under the articles of confederation, which were leading to a breakdown. it was written to enable congress to regulate or make regular commerce among the
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states. it was not the power to regulate everything and anything as it has been used since the new deal under roosevelt. guest: by also want to say something about now been put their comments. i think they're important -- melvin's comments. i think they are important. the fact of the matter is a substantial number of the people who wrote our constitution, owned other people. they treated them as property out right. not only that, there was a universal assumption that women -- for the most part, no native americans and very few women that did not own property were able to participate. the impetus for writing the
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constitution in the first place was largely in defense of the speculators who bought from farmers and mechanics the debt of the state governments at pennies on the dollar, and then wanted to be repaid on the full dollar by taxing the very people they swindled out of the money in the first place. so, we have to understand those facts when we think about doing exactly what it is the framers intended. it was a different world. i think it is important that we understand and appreciate that. host: back to the phones. new hampshire. independent line. michael. caller: states clearly have the right to write and enforce laws
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as long as they do not supersede federal law. if we as states decide to stay we want to enforce immigration laws, as long as we are not saying someone is here legally, and making them in legal citizens, we certainly have the -- illegal citizens, we certainly have the right to enforce our laws in the states. host: roger pilon? guest: this is what i have been saying since the beginning of the program -- you cannot have state law that is contrary to federal law in the language of the supremacy clause, but the issue before the supreme court, again, is whether there is not concurrent jurisdiction with respect to enforcement of the federal immigration. host: democrats line. jose, miami, florida.
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caller: i had a question. i understand that elena kagan recused herself from this case. is there a chance that there might be a deadlock court, and what would happen in that case, and why did she recused herself in this case, and not the health-care case if she was involved as the surgeon general in both? host: mike seidman? guest: those are excellent questions. she did not state a reason, but it is almost certainly because when she was solicitor general, she worked on such a consensus surrounding the case appeared somewhat surprisingly, she -- case. so what surprisingly, she did not work on the health care law as solicitor general. as a theoretical matter, there could be a four-four tie, but by
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long practice what happens when the court is divided, it affirms the position -- the decision made below. host: a tweet from tommy. -- tony. guest: good question -- what ever happened to the concept of enumerated powers? indeed, this is the central question of the constitution. remember, we went for two years without a bill of rights. does that mean we have no rights with respect to the federal government? of course not. our need restraint took the name of the doctrine of enumerated powers. if you want to limit power, do not give it in the first place.
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indeed, when the question of the bill of rights first came up, people like wilson, hamilton and others said we do not need a bill of rights because it is unnecessary. the dangers. why declare there is freedom of speech -- it is dangerous. why declare there is freedom of speech when there is no power? by ordinary principles of legal construction, the failure to enumerate all of our rights will be read to mean that those that are not enumerated are not meant to be protected, and that is why they wrote the ninth amendment is that the enumeration of the constitution of certain rights should not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. guest: the ninth amendment is a different program. with regard to the 10th amendment, nothing has happened
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with the notion of enumerated powers. what was to send and is true today is congress has to justify its exercising of power by reference to one of the powers principally an article 1. i want to point out that when congress considered the 10th amendment there was a proposal to amend it to add the word "expressly" so the power had to be expressed. that was defeated. that means that what counts as enumerated power is going to be somewhat more vague than if it had to be expressly stated, and people like me, and roger, can disagree about the scope of those powers. guest: yes, but if the disagreement leads to the conclusion that there for
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congress's enumerated powers rendered it on the patent -- omnipotent, congress can regulate virtually anything -- that is exactly the issue before the court in obama-care. guest: that is not the issue. host: let's get input from another reasonable person. howard. south carolina. guys.: i'm watching those they will not quit laughing. they have been talking about a number of things. i believe arizona should be able to do with the guy says, along with helping federal government do their thing. ok. as far as illegal immigrants, when i was living in california
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about one year and a half ago, there is too many of them coming into this country, committing murders. one black lady who was a sergeant in iraq, she had a son that was an honor student, graduated high school, 17 years old, and stanford was going to take him because he was a quarterback. what happened? this illegal immigrant who served time in the l.a. county jail got out on march the first and put a bullet in the boy's brain. she had to come home and bury him. hitchcock i am running out of time. -- host: i am running out time. caller: ok, what i wanted to say --
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host: i am sorry to cut you off. i have to get out of here on time. final words, first, mike seidman, georgetown university law professor, your thoughts on the 10th amendment and where we are going in the future? guest: i will use my time to say something about what howard said. the number of mexican immigrants in the united states is declining. more people are going back to mexico than coming in. second, i am very sorry to hear about those murders, but there are plenty of murders committed by our own citizens, many more than the legal immigrants. host: roger pilon, kindle institute. guest: i will go back to our subject, the 10th amendment, which is invoked so often by the
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tea party and other friends of limited government because that is what it is all about. it says in a nutshell if you cannot find a power in the constitution, the federal government does not have it. it belongs to the states or the people. this is the issue before the country today as we head into the election -- are we any longer living under a constitution for limited government, or a constitution where the federal government can regulate and redistribute virtually at will? that is the issue before the country today. host: if you have not had a chance to read the declaration of independence or the constitution, i suggest you do so. it makes a fascinating reading. we have a copy supplied by the cato institute. roger pilon, mike seidman, thank you for being on the program. we want to let viewers and listeners know we will have live coverage of the white house correspondents' dinner starting
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at 6:30 p.m. eastern time, and 3:30 p.m. pacific time on c- span. if you want more information, i suggest you go to our web site. i also want to let you know about tomorrows "washington journal." we begin talking about cyber security with a cyber security consultant, then a roundtable discussion regarding the role and efficacy of the united nations, and we finished off the program talking about the 12th amendment in creating the el toro college with thomas neal of the congressional -- electoral college, with thomas neal. thank you. we will see you again tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]

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